‘Ridiculously irresponsible’ drunk driver who killed 77-year-old man in Stockport jailed for 12 years

He was found to have consumed nine-and-a-half litre bottles of rum over a two-day period prior to the collision.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 11th March 2024

A drunk driver who caused the death of a 77-year-old man as a result of his “dangerous” actions has been handed a lengthy prison sentence.

Tom Ferguson has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after causing the death of 77-year-old Robert Palmer late last year, it has been confirmed, and has also been banned from driving for 13 years on top of this.

The 29-year-old was sentenced last Friday (8 March 2024) after appearing in court.

Ferguson’s sentencing and driving ban comes after Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were called to were called to reports of a road traffic collision on Buxton Road in Stockport on Thursday 9 November 2023 at around 11:35am, and after officers arrived on the scene, it was found that a BMW 1 Series – which was being driven by Ferguson – was travelling in a south-eastern direction on Buxton Road, when it mounted the pavement on its nearside, and subsequently collided with a pedestrian near to junction of Fence Street.

Ferguson then re-joined the carriageway in the BM1 following the collision, and began to drive away from the scene.


But a member of the public who witnessed the collision was said to have “courageously chased him down” and “forced him off the road using his own vehicle” – which brought Ferguson to a stop at a set of traffic lights.

Buxton Road in Stockport, near to where the fatal collision occurred / Credit: Google Maps

After approaching the car, GMP says the member of the public confronted Ferguson and made reference to the fact that he’d collided with a pedestrian – only for Ferguson to respond by saying “Have I? Sorry mate, I didn’t even know.”


The pedestrian, Robert Palmer, was taken to hospital following the collision, but later tragically died as a result of his injuries.

Ferguson was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, and taken to police custody for questioning, before later being charged with causing death by dangerous driving, causing death whilst disqualified, causing death whilst uninsured, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident on 11 November 2023.

A police investigation to establish the full circumstances of the incident was subsequently launched.


Police officers investigating events leading up to the time of the collision established that Ferguson has been staying at a hotel in the area, and was asked to leave by staff after “numerous complaints” of him being intoxicated.

It was found that Ferguson consumed nine-and-a-half litre bottles of rum over a two-day period prior to the collision, and later forensic work also showed that he was two times over the legal limit to drive, despite being tested hours after the initial collision occurred.

Detective Constable Liam Carolan, from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, described Ferguson’s actions as “ridiculously irresponsible”.

DC Carolan continued, following Ferguson’s sentencing last week: “Getting behind the wheel of a car after a couple of drinks can have devastating effects, let alone driving after consuming nine-and-a-half bottles of rum over a two-day period.

“This is such a sad case of a husband accompanying his wife back from a hospital appointment. Robert’s wife described him as a true gentleman that he would always make sure he positioned himself on the outside of the pathway to protect her from traffic – but his deepest fears sadly became a reality when he was hit by Ferguson’s BMW.”


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He added that the entire team involved in the investigation “worked tirelessly” to ensure Ferguson was “put behind bars and remained there”.

Featured Image – GMP